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  • Pastor Mark Farley

30 Years Ago




30 years ago I was a broken man, hopelessly alcoholic and addicted to methamphetamine. In jail.. again… for my 10th DUI I was to be sent to prison. I was 30 years old and had estranged everyone from me in my life. As I stared into the piece of tin that serves as a jailhouse mirror, I suddenly realized that I no longer knew this person staring back at me. I got on my knees and said the only prayer I could at the time, “God help me.”


Things began to change almost immediately. My cellmate kept inviting me to the AA meetings and until that day I never wanted to attend. The H & I sponsored AA meeting started with a very short man who was not in jail jumping up on a table and shouting, “If you guys keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting!” It was the shortest AA meeting I have ever attended because that was all I heard. He offered a Big Book to those of us “man enough to ask”, so I asked. I began reading the AA Big Book and attending the meetings.

After a few weeks, I went for my prison sentencing, but my Public Defender did not show up. 2 weeks later I went again to be sentenced and the Prosecutor did not show up. It would be 6 more weeks in the jail before I would be sentenced to prison.

I stayed active in AA and in the Christian fellowship Overcomers Outreach.


My heart began to change. I finally owned my alcoholism; took responsibility for the wreckage it had caused me and others and became willing to accept the consequences of prison time I had coming.


When I finally went to court to be sentenced, there was a different judge on the bench, and he shared a letter that was written on my behalf by an anonymous member of AA telling him I was changing and asking him to give me a chance at a rehab program instead of prison.


The judge stopped the sentencing and asked me if I would like to spend 6 months at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Sacramento.


I knew that God had heard my cry for help and that I needed to keep following Him!


I willingly went to the Salvation Army. They loved me until I could learn to love myself. I threw myself into learning about God and became active in AA and in serving the homeless and addicted which has become my life mission. I entered their Adjutant Program and earned my Pastoral certificate.

I was awarded a scholarship to go back to college and got my Human Services as well as my CADC counseling certificates for drugs and alcohol. I began running the Phase 1 recovery programs for Salvation Army ARC and helped to manage the homeless shelter.


Through my quest for lasting sobriety in AA, I met my beautiful angel Tami, who allowed this strange man with a ponytail who worked at the homeless shelter and rode a bicycle to fall in love with her and eventually marry her. 3 Years into our marriage, God loaned us His angel Kai to raise as our daughter!


For the past 30 years I have lived one day at a time looking to serve and help. 4 years ago I began to look at the damage that my excess weight was causing me and those who relied on me. I found help and learned I that sugar was my new addiction along with my cravings for all the bad carbs in the junk food I surrounded myself with. I met Bitten Jonnson who taught me about sugar and carb addiction. I have applied the 12 Steps from AA into my food addiction and now, 4 years later not only have I lost over 127 pounds, but also have gained my life back and am the founder of a 12 Step Sugar and Carb addiction group called Sugar and Carb Addicts Anonymous. www.SCAA.club

God saved me from alcoholism and addiction and taught me how to be free through serving others. I believe in and truly try to live what the Bible promises that it is through giving to others that we receive.

God has given me more than I ever deserved.

The Big Book has taught me that Faith without works is dead.

The least I can do is to try daily to pay Him back through serving others. Because of AA, today I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a family member, and a friend to many. I have a home, a job, a ministry, and a founding partner of a nonprofit that helps others.


AA taught me to be of humble service to others. From this suggestion I have become an ordained Pastor and a college graduate with and MBA in Business and Marketing. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me! Thank God for the Salvation Army, SCAA, CR, and Alcoholics Anonymous!


Got Hope, need HOPE? www.FaithThroughWorksFellowship.org


Have a blessed day y’all! Join me in looking at the things we face daily with passages from both the Big Book and Bible! https://www.amazon.com/s?k=pastor+mark+farley&ref=nb_sb_noss How about a daily dose of hope and inspired thought? Free daily message in your morning inbox. I never share, sell, or publish your email. https://www.faiththroughworksfellowship.org/blog

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